Just as we (humans) are what we eat, so are the animals that we raise here on Vernal Vibe Rise. As a result, we believe that it is truly worthwhile to go to great lengths to make sure that our animals have access to the cleanest, most nutrient-rich foods available to us.
Every few weeks, we make the trip to neighboring Virginia to purchase GMO-free feed for our animals. It involves an entire day, significant expense, and intense physical effort, but what is farming if not comprised of those things already?
Much of the GMO-free swine feed is contained in this one-ton tote, which needs to be secured carefully before the two-hour drive on the highway back to VVR.
Here is the (rented) truck of the week, all loaded up for the drive back to Renick. My dear truck, the Dumpin’ Doggie, is a 1969 F100 and isn’t well-suited for this type of trip, so she stays at the farm during feed runs.
The GMO-free whole corn, which serves as a supplemental feed for VVR poultry, and as a snack for swine and sheep. The clean feed that we offer the animals here on VVR makes them healthier, which in turn ensures that their meat and eggs are tastier and safer to eat. We thank all of our customers for caring enough about the health of our environment to make the choice to purchase VVR’s GMO-free products.
With all of the daily doings on VVR, I do not always make time to write the blog. Please follow VVR on these social media outlets for regular photos and updates:
The infographic below, recently published by Health Science Degree Guide (http://www.health-science-degree.com), clearly details the radical and disgusting changes that our national food system has undergone within the past century. We challenge you to please view it, share it, and see how it changes your eating habits!
Above is Halvah, our sole Tamworth sow, grazing in the back pasture earlier this summer.
Here, Halvah keeps a watchful eye on her litter even while she is eating. Halvah came to Vernal Vibe Rise from Floyd, Virginia. We knew she was ‘the one’ because she was without a nose ring, unlike all of her sisters. We named her Halvah because of her lovely Tamworth coloring, which all of her piglets share.
Halvah enjoys a hefty post-delivery treat; we always offer sows an all-you-can-eat feed after they farrow in addition to the placenta, which provides essential nutrition for the sow and, in turn, her piglets.
Seven healthy pure Tamworth piglets, four gilts and three boars–a solid number for a first farrow.
We will have a few of these piglets for sale, either as unregistered pure Tamworth breeding stock or feeders. They will be ready to go by early October 2013, so please let us know ASAP if you are interested.
This Monday morning, with current uncharacteristic sunshine, offered the perfect weather for a field trip to Dilly Dally Farm in Crawley, West Virginia. My mother, Sarah Voorhees, requested an extra set of eyes during this week’s Hive Inspection, and I was glad to volunteer. The inaugural VVR Top Bar Hive has yet to be installed, and our resident bees still live–very comfortably–in a tree near our driveway.
As a result, I am living my Top Bar experience vicariously through my mother, until ours is up-and-buzzing next spring. After the mandatory donning of the full garb, we began to open up the hive.
The newest section of comb has a great number of bees hanging from it–and one another–in their usual string of activity.
Another bar, with completed comb, includes brood–and bees–but no honey yet.
The result of the inspection is that the bees are healthy, happy, and right on target (75 days) with the worker, drone brood, larvae, and newborn bees we witnessed. The hope is that the next inspection will yield yet more reproductive activity AND some honey stores for the coming cold season.
The link below will open the April issue of Farmers’ Markets Today, in which VVR was featured for our work in raising critically endangered heritage pork breeds such as the Ossabaw Island Hog and Gloucestershire Old Spots Pig. The story can be found on pages 5-9 of the magazine.
Farmers’ Markets Today, April 2013
Mama Latifah, true to Ossabaw form, farrowed for the first time during the Summer 2012 Derecho, and made it through with a healthy pile of piglets.